(photo credit: REUTERS)
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett and National Union head Uri Ariel continue to fight on Wednesday over reserved slots for Ariel’s party on Bennett’s candidates list in the March 17 election.
The two men met at the Knesset in a session that had a much better atmosphere than Monday’s shouting match. They agreed on a new team to decide the joint list’s ideology led by MKs Ayelet Shaked and Zvulun Kalfa.
But Bennett rejected Ariel’s demand for five reserved slots among the top 15 Bayit Yehudi candidates and offered him only two: The second slot on the list for Ariel himself and one other.
The difference between the two appeared bridgeable on Wednesday after National Union MK Eli Ben-Dahan indicted his willingness to run in the Bayit Yehudi primary.
With the National Union currently having four MKs, that leaves the two sides not far apart from a deal.
There have been voices in Bayit Yehudi against giving the National Union any reserved slots at all. Bayit Yehudi official Rabbi Danny Tropper called for the National Union to be dismantled.
Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach told The Jerusalem Post that National Union candidates should have to run in primaries like the rest of Bayit Yehudi’s current MKs.
Ariel wrote his supporters on Wednesday that he believes a unity deal will be reached.
“I feel obligated to keep the religious-Zionist camp united,” he said. “My goal is clear: A large religious-Zionist faction that will be influential in the next government. We will try to end the dialogue with Bayit Yehudi soon and continue our successful partnership.”